Short-term rentals in Breckenridge, CO, are a hot commodity: its vacation rental market has been recognized multiple times for its popularity, with VRBO naming Breckenridge the most popular ski season destination for 2019-20. This presents the town with a common challenge: balancing the concerns of residents with the needs of a thriving tourism industry.
Breckenridge has chosen to embrace short-term rentals and the revenue they attract, revamping the regulations on rentals of less than 30 consecutive days to protect the private property rights of owners while holding them accountable to the community and their neighbors.
If you’re managing vacation rentals in Breckenridge, here’s an overview of the changes and other requirements you should know.
A 24-hour hotline prompts the need for a local representative
The most significant change in Breckenridge legislation is the launch of a new 24-hour hotline called STR Helper, which people can use to file complaints or report issues with short-term rentals.
With this hotline comes the requirement to have a “responsible agent” nearby, someone who is the owner’s representative on the ground. This agent:
- Acts on the owner’s behalf. If they fall short, it can lead to penalties that may include having the license revoked.
- Does not need to be a professional. The agent can be a property management company, rental agent, friend, or family member.
- Must be available 24/7. They can reach out to renters by phone or electronically, but they must be available to respond in person if the situation calls for it (without putting their physical safety at risk).
- Can have a backup in place. An owner can designate an alternate responsible agent, who will be contacted if the primary agent isn’t available.
- Must agree, in writing, to comply with the special conditions of the license, which are noted below.
If an issue does come up, the responsible agent will be on the clock as soon as they’ve been notified. They have 60 minutes to report back that the problem has been resolved. If it hasn’t, then they are responsible for calling the Breckenridge Police Department for further assistance.
Breckenridge’s short-term rental requirements
There are a few special conditions that must be met to keep a short-term rental permit in good standing. In addition to registering a responsible agent with the city, these conditions specify that:
- Parking is limited to designated areas on the property or designated offsite parking in-town
- Trash removal must comply with town regulations
- Noise levels must fall within local regulations
- The property can’t become a nuisance
A licensed unit also needs to meet minimum health and safety standards, such as building and technical codes, the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and annual maintenance of any wood-burning fireplaces or stoves.
To help ensure rentals are compliant, the town requires inspections when “necessary or desirable.” Typically, an authorized public inspector will contact the owner to arrange a convenient date and time for inspection. If they can’t get permission within 14 days, they’re then authorized to look at other legal ways to gain entry. The exception: if there’s a potential for loss of property or human life, no permission is needed.
What registrations are required before you get started?
Short-term rentals in Breckenridge are subject to taxes of 12.275%, which includes taxes paid to the town, Summit County, and the state of Colorado. At the time of writing, these are not collected by platforms like Airbnb; you’re responsible for collecting and remitting taxes yourself.
Before a unit can be used as a vacation rental, you need to attain two licenses:
- Sales Tax Account License (which uses form CR 0100) from the state, and
- Accommodation Unit License from the town
Your town license number must then be included in all advertisements and renewed every year:
- The annual cost of an accommodation unit license ranges from $75 to $175, depending on the number of bedrooms the rental has
- There’s also an annual accommodation administrative fee of $25 to $150, which is also determined by the number of bedrooms
Some properties, such as condos, may be exempt from the administrative fee if they have:
- 24-hour front desk
- 24-hour telephone system
- 24-hour on-site security
A “chalet house,” a home that’s used as part of a tour package, may also be exempt from paying the administrative fee.
The information above is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you need legal advice, you should consult a licensed attorney in your area.